Legislation ensuring freedom of choice in personal health care decisions defeated in Senate

LANSING–A proposed amendment to the Michigan Constitution that would continue to allow state residents the freedom to provide for their own health care was defeated Tuesday by opponents in the Michigan Senate.

"This would ensure the freedom of choice for an individual to make personal health care decisions on his or her own without government interference. A government controlled health care system will dramatically increase costs for taxpayers, which is especially burdensome to residents in economically-ravaged Michigan," said state Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek. "Very few decisions in life are more personal or more important than those about our health care, and residents should have the freedom to make those decisions on their own and with their doctors. It is unfortunate that, once again, politics has gotten in the way of good policy."

Senate Joint Resolution K is a constitutional amendment that requires two-thirds passage in both the state Senate and House. With all 22 Senate Republicans voting yes and a near unanimous Democrat caucus opposed, the resolution fell two votes short of passage.

SJR-K would put on the ballot a state constitutional amendment stating that no federal law shall compel any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any public or private health care system. The resolution also says that the purchase or sale of health insurance or coverage in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by federal law or rule.

Similar resolutions are being considered by 38 other states.